Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan is a virulent anti-Semite, homophobic, and racist, but that didn’t stop celebrities from using their platforms to promote him.
Comedian Chelsea Handler and actress Jessica Chastain recently shared a clip of one of his speeches from The Phil Donahue Show discussing racial prejudice.
“I learned a lot from watching this powerful video,” Handler wrote in sharing the video. Jennifer Aniston, Michelle Pfeiffer and Jennifer Garner were among the celebrities who liked it.
One woman asked why can't "white people, black people, Jewish people" "come together." Farrakhan responded by saying that "the desire is good" but that reality is the "total opposite."
He accused the audience of viewing black Americans as "second-class or inferior citizens" and enforcing "black inferiority" by stripping their African culture dating back to slavery and pushed white culture onto them, citing "white names," the English language, and "white Jesus" as examples.
When another white audience member expressed her concern that she "hears violence" from his rhetoric, Farrakhan insisted she had "deep guilt" and feared that "if black people come to power" that they would commit violence on white people, he says, the way white people had committed violence on black people for years.
Farrakhan rejected an accusation from an attendee that he has a "prejudice" against white people, saying that after "400 years" of oppression, he and other black people are "looking at reality of what we have suffered and continue to suffer." (Fox News)
Her followers who knew about Farrakhan’s past called her out for promoting him, but she continued to defend the controversial NOI leader.
“So, based on this logic, if you find a video of Hitler saying something positive and powerful, will you feel equally compelled to share it?” replied Instagram user cindyjh5. “You gave hate credibility and a large platform today.”
Added user socalmama94, “Farrakhan is a hateful anti Semite. He wears that label proudly. There are many others whose wisdom you could be sharing.
“This is disappointing Chelsea.”
Even after as the criticism poured in, however, Handler, 45, argued that Farrakhan’s hatred may have been justified by his own experiences on the receiving end of bigotry.
“Another thing: perhaps Farrakhan’s anti-Semitic views took form during his own oppression,” wrote Handler. “We know now that oppression of one race leads to an oppression of all races.” (New York Post)
Handler, who is Jewish, finally deleted the post and Chastain, who also shared it, did the same.
Farrakhan has long referred to Jews as satanic, termites, and in control of the media, Hollywood, the government, economy, and the slave trade.